June 18, 2009 at 12:03 pm (1)

IRAN: A matter of timing

By Peyvand Khorsandi

It is too early now to publicly attack Messrs Khatami and Mousavi, two appalling political fraudsters hoisted on to the placards of masses who for thirty years have suffered under the brutal reign of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is too early because blood is being spilled by young people whose lives are denied their full expression by the medieval sensibilities of Iran’s ruling clerics.

Khatami and Mousavi are, for now, untouchable – to criticise them, judging by the competing emotions on Facebook – is to attack the very demonstrators who are risking their lives for freedom. It is too early to say that these two shining lights are in fact agents of darkness. It is too early because blood is being spilled.

“The Islamic Republic,” a friend of mine writes, “is too deeply rooted to go. We have to take what we can.” So deeply rooted that it is afraid of bloggers and tortures them and executes them. So deeply rooted that after 30 years, death is still its best answer to dissent.

But what about those of us in the West, showing solidarity? Is it too early for us to chant for a separation of religion and state? Is it too early do say “Death to the Islamic Republic of Iran?”

It is too early for the lion and sun to return to our flag (not with Reza in tow, thank you)? So we watch with frustration as people, our people, risk their lives for unworthy men who believe in consolidating the very rule people are trying to shake off.

For a dispassionate look at what’s happening in Iran — as history whether it has been made or is being made demands we should — perhaps we should turn to Iran’s enemies. President Obama this week told CNBC: “The difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised.”

Amazingly, the dark lord who heads Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad, Meir Dagan, would prefer it if Ahmadinejad’s victory stayed intact. He told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: “The reality in Iran is not going to change because of the elections. The world and we already know [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. If the reformist candidate [Mirhossein] Mousavi had won, Israel would have had a more serious problem because it would need to explain to the world the danger of the Iranian threat, since Mousavi is perceived internationally arena as a moderate element.”

Who better to read a fundamentalist religious state than another fundamentalist religious state? They know each other well, cut from the same fabric, these men of cloth.

Most of my Facebook friends are Mousavi supporters. People are dying for the reformist camp. Surely they deserve to live? Surely he should renounce the Islamic regime and offer himself up to human rights investigators – surely that’s what he should do? Surely once, and only if, he’s proven to have had no hand in any disappearances and killings and corruption, surely only then he can be fit to lead? But’s it’s too early for that. People are dying. You can’t question things when people are dying. Strange, that. It’s precisely when you should.

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